Quali was difficult getting in some good clean laps. It was mostly my driving and sometimes traffic/trackposition. Looped it out of the chicane in a good lap, but could keep it out of the barriers. Even when my first run time would have been good enough for Pole, was determined to get in at least a low22. In my second run spun again at the hairpin, and then anger can be a funny thing. Improved to 22.45, and then had a real good lap keeping control of the car right on the edge. Still the laptime surprised me, a sub22, best lap ever in oAo beating the Bradbury's and co.!
This track has been driven a lot by me back in the day, recall missing out a dutch.gpl D2 Honda win in 2002, ofcourse the camshaft giving up the ghost late race...also was (one of) the first to get a sub25 here with the Honda back then. Great memories, well not so great running a season with the dutch Harakiri Honda Racing Team mostly having mechanicals.
Anyway, I knew my start and lap 1 was rather shaky. A combo of 36fps, and a difficult setup on cold tires. Having a few bad practiced starts didn't give me too much confidence, having seen how rock solid Michael was at the hairpin on lap 1, when I struggled braking there on my cold tires. Start was ok, good enough, but missed the apex at Sear, and had to correct the car. Michael was on my tail and knew I couldn't afford to screw up again at the hairpin. Just managed to keep the car in front of him exiting and at the Esses, from then on could break away and building up the tire grip. Actually it was quite a hard race, never dull. I like this track, but struggled for fast lap times and almost wrecked on a few occasions trying to do so. Lapped cars were great as usual. Glad I didn't really interfere with some of the fights, it pretty much equalled out for most. Penultimate lap major moment, almost lost the car pushing for fast lap and compromised last lap as well with a bad start of the lap.
Happy that I held it together for the team, will be a shoot-out between the D2 drivers. For the drivers as well as the teams. Good luck!
Grats to Tom, drive of the day, and Michael for podiums. Well done finishers, commiserations to the DNF's Thanks all for racing and a great season, personally. Also thanks to all involved, Bruce, Stewards and TSG, and last but not least all drivers!
PS: for those interested, my client replay of the pole lap. Standard shift times, no speedshifts, 100% on track (like Mexico, the white lines do not define the edges of the track according to GPL Replay Analyzer, the tool that is used by GPL Rank to verify laptimes). However, I'm a left foot braker shifting still with paddles.
Edited by Robert Fleurke, 04 November 2017 - 12:04 PM.